Spine 2024

SPINE will be taking place in early Spring 2024. The festival will be a ‘lite’ version. You can still expect free events and activities in libraries for children, just on a smaller scale. Think of it as condensed fun!

We’ll be releasing details of this closer to the time.

Previous SPINE Festivals:

Spine2023 – KINDNESS: 10 APRIL – 10 MAY 2023

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Launching on 10 April 2023, SPINE Festival 2023 continued the exploration of KINDNESS with children and families in sixteen London boroughs. It featured spoken word and arts activities delivered by local artists, touring poetry SPIN show, a series of engaging workshops and imaginative events by SPINE’s 16 Artists in Residence.

The festival’s inaugural Kindness Poetry Competition was judged SPINE 2023 Ambassador Joseph Coelho (Waterstones’ Children’s Laureate 2022-2024) in each partnering borough. A huge part of the work that Joseph delivers is around diversifying children’s literature. Libraries were also incredibly important to his childhood so he made the perfect choice to be an ambassador for this year’s festival.

Congratulations to Praven Kubavat, Kyan Norris and Mattie Stone. You can read the winning poems here: Kindness Competition Winners

A group of artists in residence, smiling in fun and different poses

What Happened at SPINE

There was a mixture of events and interactive workshops for children to participate in. Events centered around music, poetry, rapping, storytelling, movement, and more. The events were based on the theme of kindness.

Each library had its own programme of events so check what’s going on in your local library. Events are always free at SPINE. Some events required tickets, and others were drop-in sessions.

SPIN Shows

Each library saw the Apples and Snakes’ SPIN show – a word-warrior, fun-filled 45 minute show with raps and stories about kindness and the world around us. SPIN shows feature 3 artists, in 15 mins slots, with the aim to engage and excite the audience. They’re interactive and a whole lot of fun!

SPIN took place at the following locations and dates

Fri 14 Apr – 10.30-11.15 – Islington with Desree, Adam Kammerling and Antoinette Brooks
Fri 14 Apr – 14.30-15.15 – Tower Hamlets with Desree, Adam Kammerling and Jay Sandhu
Sat 15 Apr – 10.30-11.15 – Hammersmith and Fulham with Stanley Iyanu, Kenny Baraka and Gayathiri Kamalakanthan
Sat 15 Apr – 13.30-14.15 – Ealing with Kenny Baraka, Güneş Güven and Stanley Iyanu
Fri 21 Apr – 10.30-11.15 – Merton with Repeatbeat, Zohab Zee Khan and Eileen Gbagbo
Fri 21 Apr – 13.30-14.15 – Sutton with Repeatbeat, Zohab Zee Khan and Eileen Gbagbo
Sat 22 Apr – 10.30-11.15 – Bromley with Alim Kamara, Anneliese Amoah and Jasmin Thien
Sat 22 Apr – 13.30-14.15 – Lewisham with Alim Kamara, Laila Sumpton and Anneliese Amoah
Wed 26 Apr – 14.00-14.45 – Harrow with Khairani Barokka, Simon Mole and Paul Lyalls
Fri 28 Apr – 10.30-11.15 – Wandsworth with Simon Mole, Shagufta Iqbal and Ioney Smallhorne
Sat 29 Apr – – Southwark with Arji Manuelpillai, Shagufta Iqbal and Ioney Smallhorne
Wed 3 May – 10.30-11.15 – Newham with Arji Manuelpillai, Miss Jacqui, Jaspreet Kaur
Wed 3 May – 13.30-14.15 – Greenwich with Güneş Güven, Laila Sumpton, Miss Jacqui
Fri 5 May – 10.30-11.15 – Kensington & Chelsea with Kat François, Francesca Beard and Jaspreet Kaur
Fri 5 May – 13.30-14.15 – Westminster with Kat François, Francesca Beard and Sadatu Futa

SPIN show

Where is it happening

SPINE takes place in sixteen boroughs across London. The locations will be at libraries based in those boroughs.

Click through to each paired borough to learn more about the artists and what’s happening in each borough:

Brent and Harrow
Bromley and Lewisham
Ealing and Hammersmith & Fulham
Islington and Tower Hamlets
Merton and Sutton
Newham and Greenwich
Southwark and Wandsworth
Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea

Don’t forget to pick up a very attractive bookmark.

SPINE Archive

A group of mixed adults stand in a row, posing and looking cheery

This isn’t the first year we have run SPINE but it is different every time we run it! Each year the content that has been made, and the people that we have worked with have been incredible. If you’re not sure what to expect from SPINE then do look through the archive to familiarise yourself.

We have collated this content in an archive for you to explore. This page contains some of the programming, the libraries that took art, artwork created and all the artists in residence that took part.

A huge part of this festival is all the libraries that take part. All the staff are incredibly important to making this festival come together and, of course, everyone who attends as a participant. You can read more in the impact of SPINE and all the wonderful things people have got up to in this blog post from Sarah Smith (MBE) at Brent Libraries.

Head over to our SPINE Archive page to discover more.

SPINE is produced by Apples and Snakes in partnership with Brent Library. In previous years, it has been supported by John Lyon’s Charity and  Arts Council England. We also would like to thank library authorities across London.

All photography of the artists in residence goes to: Suzi Corker (suzicorker.com)

Brent LibrariesArts Council England